Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: sleep

Silk

Here, Brad (@Squidshire), I wrote a fanfic about you.

~

A thought stopped him dead in the middle of the moment, and he forgot what he was doing. He had been holding a knife, but he was not holding a knife anymore: it was safely lodged in the middle of a loaf. He always cut the loaves in half, in half in half in half until they were the thickness he preferred, this was his way, a thought stopped him dead: I wonder how things would go if I pupated right this moment. Another thought: Leather gets more grim the more you think about it.

He bought long bandages of silk and they arrived rolled up like papyrus scrolls. He half-expected there to be hieroglyphs, but it was just so smooth. Right this moment – perhaps a moment could be a few days long. Brad had always considered moments to be like loaves of bread, infinitely divisible. Maybe a moment was composed of several moments closely stacked together. In someone’s eyes, in the eyes of a very old tree spirit perhaps, his whole life was but a moment. He paused momentarily. What was he doing?

He was in the bathtub. He was wrapping himself in silk, a contorted dance in a small space, and he could already feel the new enzymes in his body begin to bite at him, break him down. This was good. People said you could not feel your insides, because you have no nerve endings there, but Brad had always felt inverse like that.

There was the issue of whether he should leave room to breathe or not. He decided against it, but he covered his nostrils the very last thing that he did, writhing around in the bathtub because he had wrapped his arms in silk and could not move them. And then he felt the oxygen leave him like a lover, reluctantly saying farewell, promising to come back.

He was in a deep sleep.

He had never considered himself to be divisible by half, but it turned out that he was. By half by half by half. His organs, once content to be contiguous, loosened their border policies and enmeshed. The silk was his skin and not. New organs were forming, like ex-Soviet states after the fall. He had never counted his organs before but he was sure there was more of them now. Something cracked. It was the sarcophagus he had made himself of silk; to think that something so soft could still crack like ice.

Brad realized that his life was divisible by half, and he had just heard the crack. The thought that had stopped him dead had actually killed him, and for a transitional period he had been dead. He looked at his wings in the too-small mirror of the bathroom, after wiping away the dust. There was a lot of dust to wipe away.

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Interest

The men from the bank are here at the door, I let them in, it is freezing outside. There is so much snow that my view of their car must have been obscured for the entire street seemed empty.

They have been observing you, insomniac, they say. You’ve been racking up quite the sleep debt, they say. I don’t understand them.

I try to shake their hands, but they refuse politely.

You come down the stairs a bit like a zombie, Atlantis eyes sunk deep into your skull. They present you the figures; you understand, you say, you fall asleep.

Dead Sleep

There will be plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead. There will not be enough air. There will be no temperature, but you will invent one. That will be cold. There will not be enough duvet, and your dreams will be restless. It will be like being underwater, and the uncertainty about which way gravity is pulling you. On occasion, you will come closer to the surface and you will almost wake up, but it will be like a sheet of clear ice lies between you and true consciousness, and off you drift again, thinking, “Just five more minutes.”

The Myth of Continued Consciousness

Lou believed that he died every time he fell asleep. There was no difference. He had programmed himself to reflect this, much harsher than the other mezzodes on the ship. He had new personalities, new quirks, new phobias every time he accidentally slumbered. Lou refused to be a carbon copy of his former self, that was one of the ways he stayed himself. Sometimes he screwed up changing his own batteries, and someone plugged him in again and Lou held a little funeral and played the bagpipe. Lou believed in very few things, but he said bagpipes healed the soul.

No Doors

She would never sleep again. There was another bedroom inside her bedroom, and she saw it when she closed her eyes. Things worked differently over there, for example there were no doors but she could go places there which she couldn’t in her own bedroom. Sometimes, if she went very far, she felt a sense of dread before opening her eyes and then she was on the highway fifteen countries away. She closed her eyes before the car hit her, at least. Sometimes she would blink out when talking to people in her original world. She wondered if people noticed.